Former President Donald Trump issued his clearest threat to date against Senate Republicans on Wednesday over a bipartisan infrastructure deal poised to advance in the Senate, warning of “lots of primaries” as he already works to unseat one GOP incumbent.
Trump said in a statement that “patriots will never forget” if Democrats get the necessary 10 Republican votes to pass $550 billion in new infrastructure spending in the Senate, adding that if the deal happens, “lots of primaries will be coming your way.”
The deal is likely to clear that threshold, however, with even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who weren’t in the bipartisan group that negotiated the deal announcing their vote to proceed on the bill.
Trump has couched his opposition to the bill less in its substance – though he said it would lead to “the continued destruction of our Country” – and more in the notion that any compromise with Democrats is poor optics for Republicans, arguing it makes them “look weak, foolish, and dumb.”
Trump picked out one senator in particular, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a key infrastructure negotiator and one of Trump’s most vocal GOP detractors, giving him a new nickname: “SUPER RINO”
Trump’s comments come as he is already supporting Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who wavered on voting for Trump last June and then voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial in February. On the House side, he has endorsed Max Miller, a former aide running against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), who voted for impeachment.
Infrastructure appears to be a rare area of agreement between Trump and some of the most left-leaning lawmakers in Congress. Several progressive House Democrats said Wednesday they may oppose the infrastructure deal if the Senate does not also pass a sufficiently large budget reconciliation bill – a spending package that can pass without GOP support.